- 05 Oct 2016
How High-Tech Materials Play a Role in Watchmaking
While watchmaking technology has been steadily improving for more than five centuries, there always seems to be room for improvement. Today’s finest watchmakers continually push the boundaries when it comes to innovation – offering new and exciting technology, functions and even materials.
Gold, platinum and steel will forever be forged into watch cases, but today, many brands also take their inspiration from the space, aviation, automotive and medical worlds when it comes to super high-tech materials.
Among the favorites are engineered ceramics, multiple grades of high-tech titanium, hypoallergenic alloys, aluminium (a derivative of aluminum that can be colored and is super light weight), carbon fiber (a dense yet light-weight material that is super strong thanks to the layering or weaving of thousands of strands of fibers), kevlar and more. Some brands are even working with transparent sapphire to create cases that are virtually see through.
The point behind these materials is not just to offer an exciting marketing angle, but, more to the point, to offer more durability, more scratch- or shock-resistance and lighter weight. Indeed, the materials used have to meet a clear objective, whether that is achieving a certain color, a certain weight or a certain aesthetic appeal.
Some brands are even building their own alloys of gold that will keep the gold from scratching or wearing in any way. This, of course, makes them even more precious in the long run.
Additionally, brands are even perfecting the coatings they apply to the materials. Years ago, when one wanted to add a different color to a metal, the piece was bathed in an electroplating process. Today, at the high end of the luxury watch spectrum, a host of coating methods can be employed, including PVD (physical vapor deposition), DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) applications and other methods that make the coating last longer and resist scratching.
We invite you in any time to see our vast array of timepieces that utilize high-tech materials in their cases, bracelets, bezels and straps.